Earth Sensing for Situational Awareness
Hashtags: #earth, #earthsensing, #earthobserviz, #earthrightnow, #aircheck, #earthlive
Tags: data visualization, imagery, model, platform
Combined Earth observations can inform travelers of upcoming delays and hazards; inform environmental and space scientists of improved collection methods for remote sensing; support research scientists in understanding correlations of various Earth events; allow communities to understand air quality assessments and how it has affected their communities over time; help aid organizations in understanding historical, current, and future implications of geological events, such as landslides, floods, droughts, and storms; and many more potential uses.
NASA has a variety of Earth observations that are publically available that can allow for enhancing existing weather or mapping applications. Additionally, NASA provides a large amount of Earth observation data in near real-time, for example, temperature, precipitation, clouds, ozone, Sulphur dioxide, snow cover, and wildfires. Other sites provide real-time aircraft and satellite tracking. Combining this information can put data into context to allow scientists, travelers, students, pilots, and communities to better understand previous events, current situational assessments, and planning for potential hazards.
This challenge is an agglomeration of previous challenges, wrapped up into a one-stop-shop of Earth observation information to assist in understanding previous events, current situational assessments, and planning for potential hazards. The app’s main users could be space scientists, Earth scientists, travelers, air traffic specialists, pilots, and students.
This challenge consists of three parts:
Combine Earth observations into a 3D globe with the possibility to display that information on a 2D map inset. Observations may include imagery, wind, pressure, wave height, thermal, UV levels, cloud information (height, type, etc.), relative humidity, air quality index (AQI), volcanic plumes, dust storms, dust clouds, fires, landslides, floods, droughts, terrain change, gravity fields, significant storms or other Earth observation data on a 3D globe right in your web browser or application. Information can be from NASA, NOAA, crowd-sourced information, weather stations, or any other sources.
Combine live flight information, so travelers, pilots, air traffic personnel can see in real-time potential hazards affecting air travel.
Combine live satellite orbiting information, so users can see when the last satellite pass has observed a specific area and when it may potentially observe again. This can include multiple orbit regimes, such as LEO and GEO.
HINT: Many open-source tools are out there to support this effort, including past NASA Space App Challenges.
Earth Observation Data:
The app should allow users to: input the coordinates or use user geo-located coordinates on Earth to extract local data values onto a 3D terrain map; retrieve Earth observation data in near real-time; visualize Earth observation data globally and locally (e.g. zoom); include historical observations for the users to see past significant events, include location max, min, and average values of conditions; and provide an interactive globe or map with data visualization layers.
Auto-identify countries, cities, states, rivers, and other features in the map.
Include observations not just at ground or top of the atmosphere, but at all aspects of the atmosphere.
If travelers do not have access to internet, allow the app to be downloaded and used off-line. Once the user is back on-line, the user may help improve the app information by uploading information observed to a database. This might include the location, time the data were collected, descriptions, and other metadata. When the user has network access, the app could allow the user to interact with the existing map user interface to select imagery that can be downloaded and cached for offline use; provide map information within a certain spatial extent; and/or let people gather and record data that can be uploaded to a database afterwards, ideally as a layer on the map.
Option to include prediction-modeling overlay, such as where the storms will track, air pollution warnings, etc.
Show all aircraft flights with visualized flight information (altitude, speed, etc.)
Provide baseball card style statistics on individual flight information
Using the locator on the mobile device and various airport locations, the app should convey the expected weather conditions to the nearest possible time of departure. Based on flight safety rules, the app should predict whether the flight will take off on time or be delayed.
Show the trajectory of satellites in real time and allow for historical track display
Show aggregate and individual satellite tracks and data
Provide baseball card style statistics on individual satellites linking it to their data
NASA Codes for Various Projects
Various codes that may be helpful in the project
NASA Earth Data in Google Maps
Uses Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)
NASA Earth Data Resources, Formats, and Tools
The data format is not always the same across all NASA Earth data products, though HDF is one of the more common formats. Second link has a list of tools available.
NASA Processed Data Information
If you’re trying to insert data values into a database, we suggest starting with Level 3 data products as they are usually gridded and available globally.
Google Earth Maps
Mobile device GPS locator
USGS 3D Maps
Check out ArcGIS Online.
Maps from Balloon and Kite Photography
Earth Observation Resources
NASA World View
NASA Visible Earth
NASA Earth Observations
Precipitation, landslides, elevation data, gravity, natural disaster tracker, sea, ice,
ESA Observation Data
Includes a variety of observations, including gravity, magnetic fields
MODIS, MISR, OMI, and CALIPSO Data
MODIS and MISR for fires and pollution outbreaks; Models – HYSPLIT for trajectory predictions, GEOS-Chem (Stratospheric intrusions), NRL-NAAPS, SmartFire Secondary Data; and CALIPSO, OMI for vertical resolution and volcanic eruptions.
HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory
3-D chemical transport algorithm
Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System
EPA Toxics Release Inventory
Data access, National Data Buoy Center
Various (bird, bugs, animals, etc.) Observations
Blue Sky Air Quality
Earth Wind Speeds
Open Weather Map
Various maps with APIs
Canadian Weather Forecasts
European Weather Forecasts
Japan Weather Forecasts
Aviation Weather Data
Airport status and delay information; FAA web-based weather services
NOAA Aviation Weather Center
Article on Weather Effects on Aviation
Live/Historical Aviation Tracking
Two-line Element: a data format used to convey sets of orbital elements that describe the orbits of Earth-orbiting satellites. A computer program called a model can use the TLE to compute the position of a satellite at a particular time.